Two years ago, at the height of what I like to remember as Drake-O-Mania, I had an “official” day named for me by the city of Fayetteville.
All right, so Drake-O-Mania was just a couple of articles in local papers honoring the fifteenth anniversary of my show, and not screaming fans outside the doors of C.A.T., demanding DVDs of their favorite episodes, but I’ll take what I can get.
I did get my “day,” though. July 5, 2006, was designated, On the “Air with Richard S. Drake Day” - complete with a proclamation - which I wrote myself.
Given my current relationship with City Hall, I haven’t quite had the nerve to call and ask, “Hey! Do they these things carry over from year to year?” I suspect I already know the answer to that one.
Kinda too bad, though. I would have enjoyed the eventual greeting cards, the songs of the season, and the annual On the Air with Richard S. Drake Day sales events.
How I got my first proclamation from the city
The writing on the 2006 proclamation was largely cribbed from the first proclamation I got from the city, back in 1992, when OTA was nearing its 50th show.
One day I said to my director,” Why don’t you call Mayor Vorsanger and tell him that you want to surprise me with a proclamation for our milestone.”
“Okay,” she said. The next day she made the phone call. The process was pretty simple. All we had to do was write the proclamation ourselves (or themselves, since it was supposed to be a big surprise) and turn it into the city.
A few days later I ran into Fred Vorsanger as he personally carried a manilla envelope into Fayetteville Open Channel (which was sort of still around at that point - even though the official access station was A4F).
“Hello, sir,” I said. “Can I help you?”
“Oh, no,” he replied. “I just need to leave this here for someone.”
That week on the show - we were still going live in those days - I had to act surprised when someone gave me the proclamation on the air.
What are they gonna do? Take it back?
You can actually get all kinds of cool stuff from the city, if you know where to look - or beg long enough
Over the years I have been also been given two Keys to the City by two different aldermen. They are small pins, and not the huge keys one sees in old movies. Still, it’s pretty cool to have them. I didn't actually ask for them.
I may start wearing one at Telecomm Board meetings.
A couple of alderman also gave me city of Fayetteville hats over the years, which aren’t that easy to come by.
The one hat that I really wanted, though, was a Government Channel hat, which former Cable Administrator Marvin Hilton was loathe to give me. I figured I had earned one, since I had worked part-time for the FGC a long, long time ago - till Hilton decided that my services were no longer required.
What’s the technical tem for my work for the FGC?
Oh, yeah - sub-standard.
I’ll probably only get a chance to say this once
Have a happy On the Air Day!